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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  September 9, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PDT

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this morning, the campaign is just getting hot, but it's already time to think about the challenge of governing. and nearly 11 years sings september 11th. when will we make peace with each other? first, to pennsylvania. because believe it or not there, is a plan to rig this election. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. if you are old enough to be a baby nerd back in the '70s. you learned on school house rock how a bill becomes a law.
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remember just a bill sitting on capitol hill when he told us his life story. >> when i started i wasn't even a bill. i was just an idea. some folks pack home decided they wanted a law passed and called a local congressman and said you're right there, ought to be a law. >> well, this morning, i would like to look a little more into the life story of a law that's not quite as innocent as our little friend bill on capitol hill. pennsylvania's voter i.d. legislation. this week, it will find its way into pennsylvania's supreme court, where the american civil liberties union and other opponents will present oral arguments against it. pennsylvania's law requiring voting identification at the polls one of the strictest in the nation. opponents at this week's pennsylvania supreme court hearing will be appealing the decision of commonwealth court judge robert simpson. last month, simpson rejected a preliminary injunction request that would have kept the law from being implemented at the polls on november 6th. simpson based his decision on a
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u.s. supreme court case. marion. the court skwlupheld a voter i. law in indiana. prior to that, no state ever required a photo i.d. to vote. indiana was the first. and the state of indiana, just like the state of pennsylvania in the lower court, admitted it could come up with no -- that there zero, zilch, zip, goose egg -- cases of voter fraud. the supreme court upheld it anyway and set a precedent that merely the threat of voter fraud was enough to justify a voter i.d. law. only that threat, it doesn't exist. according to the brendan center which released an extensive analysis of voter fraud in 2007.
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allegations of voter fraud, especially polling place impersonation fraud, almost always prove to be inflated or inaccurate. the truth of the matter is that voter fraud, votes knowingly cast by ineligible individuals, is exceedingly rare. one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud. at this point in the story, our law finds itself in a bit of an exi tential crisis. the whole reason for being is a myth. what's very real, however, are the people who could be denied their voting rights because of the law. 12.8% of registered pennsylvania voters, more than 1 million people and 12.6% who voted in 2008, more than 750,000 voters, lack a valid photo i.d. under the law. and those least likely to have ballot identification are pretty diverse, african-americans, latinos, young people, the poor, people with disabilities.
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one thing they share in common -- they tend to vote for the democratic party. which brings me to the beginning. the pennsylvania law grew up to attract national attention, but it had humble beginnings in a republican-dominated state legislature. democrats had run the house in pennsylvania for four years, and pennsylvania's first attempt to pass a voter i.d. bill, vetoed in 2006 by the former governor, ed rendell, but after the election, pennsylvania flipped from a blue state to a red one with the house, senate, and governor, all dominated by the republican party. and to this guy. pennsylvania state representative darryl metcalf. think of him as the bill's daddy. he first introduced it under its formal name, the pennsylvania voter identification protection act. is he also a member of the american legislative exchange council. you may remember it by its acron acronym. alec. you may also remember alec being mentioned in connection with the trayvon martin case. imagine if a bill from the hill
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had its origins not in some idea from some folks back home, but an organized group that brings corporations together with hundreds of state legislators who are sympathetic to the interests of those corporations, and instead of those folks back home calling their local congressman to write a bill, alec drafts model legislation for those legislators to take back to their states to pass into law. stand your ground was one of those model laws, so was voter i.d. the bill, drafted by alec in 2009, according to a report from news 21. and the walter cronkite school of journalism. pennsylvania's voter i.d. law, based on the law upheld by the supreme court and not influenced by his alec membership and news 21's analysis found more than half of the 62 voter bills introduced nationwide were sponsored by members or
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conference attendees of alec. but, of course, correlation does not equal causation, which may leave us with more economies about the life of the pennsylvania i.d. law and how it began. fortunately, daryl metcalf's colleague in the statehouse has given us a clearance where b where he hopes it will end. >> we are focused on making sure we meet our obligations for years. pro second amendment. done. first pro life abortion recommendations lags. done. voter i.d. which allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> and now my guests. dorian warren, assistant professor at columbia university. and former republican congressman from oklahoma. thank you for joining me today. did i get that about right,
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judith? hit it on the head, you told the story. here we are in pennsylvania, advancement practice council will be in the supreme court. we know no evidence of voter fraud, we know one group it hits. it also hits veterans no, expiration dates on their i.d. they expire i guess. >> pause and explain. i want to be clear. i think a lot of viewers may not realizith not just you have to have something that shows who you are, but very specific rules about it. >> what's important, the way the laws have been crafted and really crafted for partisan gain by politicians who want to manipulate the laws for their own gain, for their party, that they surgically crafted them so they hit the people they want to suppress the votes. the way that they have been crafted, state issued, photo
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i.d. with a current address no, expiration date. for example, pennsylvania, over 80% of the colleges and universities actually did not have an expiration date on their i.d.s, those students faced with not being able to vote. >> the surgical nature of it that feels to me like we've gone to a place where -- like this just can't really be about the notion of voter fraud, because if you can sort of show basically it's clear this is i am who i am, then you wouldn't have a problem. >> let me give you another example. this is a coordinated national campaign. in the state of minnesota, republicans took over the legislature for the first time in 40 years and immediately passed a similar kind of law. it vetoed. what did they do? put a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall that would essentially do the same thing. it would end absentee voting. if you are a soldier in afghanistan, you can't prove have you an i.d., right, when
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you go to vote. same thing, chair of alec in the state was the lead sponsor. this was coordinated with the intention of disenfranchising the voters of a certain party. >> because i'm making a claim this is about parties, and you and i will talk more specifically about your book. one party has an interest. historically, conservative democrats at the turn of the century who passed the jim crow laws and now the republican party. any way we can imagine voting rights not being a partisan issue, but a more broadly american concern? >> it's not going to change until we stopped thinking about deciding everything, based not on the common good, but what's good for our political party, and that's done not just on voter laws, but done on almost every kind of a law. you see it in washington all the
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time. what helps my party trumps what's the right thing to do for the country? and it's not going to change until we address that much more fundamental problem. >> is there something here about america's rapidly changing demographics, i know chris hayes talked about this on "up," it feels like the end of the last reconstruction whether you saw black and brown people beginning take power? is this about the fact that demographics are not in favor of the republican party and rather than battling it out to win votes, they will suppress voters. >> it definitely has a correlation, and you have to go back up to redistricting also. the republicans gain control of several legislatures in 2010, they redistrict themselves into power and then they start to pass these laws that will keep them in power for a long time. and in places like texas, for example, where they passed a very strict voter i.d. law, where you can vote if you have a gun license, but not if you have
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a college i.d., that's a place where we see changing dem dwrafices very quickly. there is this cram bell to make sure they can hold on to power in light of that. >> it feels to me -- part of the reason i wanted to tell that story is that there's kind of a discursive language here about suppression and trying to -- but, really if we just walk through what we actually know, the pathway seems very clear and then we have, of course, turzai saying this is about electing and allowing mitt romney to win the state of philadelphia. is there any -- i want to -- is there any good legal or ethical or carat democratic with a litt reason to have this? does it improve dehockracy in any way? >> i don't think so. my favorite line about this is from justice brandeis. the line is "men feared witches
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and burned women." in other words, he was talking about a different right, the right to free speech, but he was saying this communist threat in that case is being jiggered up in order to prey on people's paranoia, and the people who are getting hurt are innocent. if you translate that into this context, the idea would be men fear imposters or voter fraudsters and are burning legitimate voters. this boogie man that, again, every court that has looked although this at least recently, including the crawford court and pennsylvania court that we've just been talking about, has said there is no evidence of voter fraud, so we can do this on the basis of some kimerical threat. >> even if we say this is just about some desire to protect democracy from fraudulent voters, even they the sort of
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solution to it is -- >> i.d. does not fix it. >> first of all this is not about preventing fraud, it was about preventing voting, and this is an issue where you have -- you don't have mickey mouse going to vote as judith browne-dianis, but have you people trying to live off that fear so they can conjure up the rhetoric to push these laws through and in a way that makes sense to the average, you know, person. oh, an i.d. to go vote. in fact, we all want intelling go integrity. but passing laws to manipulate the system is not about integrity. >> just in case you think what we're talking about isn't real, just for a second you think voter suppression tactics won't impact the election. wait until you see what we found inside some voter's pockets down
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in pennsylvania. that's next. ♪ ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation, every solution, comes together for a single purpose -- to make the world a safer place. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. o0 c1 mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs bag of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback signup for 5% cashback at gas stations through september. it pays to discover. [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them. and that their homeowners insurance protects them.
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according an online database, the commonwealth of institution contains at least 665,000 college and graduate students, those least likely to have identification under the state's new laws, and, therefore, they may not be able to vote. they are also overwhelmingly likely to support president obama. he won 18 to 29-year-olds in pennsylvania 65% to senator mccain's 35%. now, i want to know do those
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young people have any idea what's going on? i sent a young person to find out. our very own nbc page kristin vac aria, a 2012 graduate of bucknell university. she went back to her old stomping grounds in the battleground state of pennsylvania. >> you can tell me about the voter i.d. laws? >> i can't, because i don't know much about them. >> i know there is this new change going on. >> i know you having to have the date on the i.d. >> didn't know if it actually passed. >> students have to have an expair ration date on their. d.s. this is brock's, not barack's student i.d. can i see your i.d.? do you have it? >> there is no expiration date on it. >> no expirate date on it. >> i need an expiration date on it? >> why? >> that's part of the new voter
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i.d. laws. what do you think? >> that's ridiculous. >> we are 18, we should be able to vote. >> it's makes it less convenient to vote. >> it's a hassle, people might not know about getting the extra sticker. >> this new vote every i.d. law has never been around in pennsylvania. what do you think the purpose of the is? >> to detract a large population from being able to vote, and a lot of kids will not -- a lot of kids will not know exactly what is going on when they go to try and vote. >> pennsylvania could be swayed by a number of students. >> and the number of people who don't have a license at all. >> the poorer population also might not have an i.d. not everyone has a driver's license. there is public transportation. >> people who really want to vote will find a way to vote. >> it's a smart idea. you don't want people coming up
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and randomly voting. >> honestly, personally, i don't think my vote matters. >> people have died, friends of mine, giving us a right to vote, freedom, if people are trying to take that away, that's absolutely un-american. >> now kristen, the nbc page, joins us. great reporting, but i'm a little freaked out. are there any college students in pennsylvania who are going to be able to vote? >> hi, melissa the more proactive ones will, but for the frightening thing, for most students, the school i.d. is the main form of identification. i was able to vote with just my student i.d., now that's not the case. 115 schools in the state provide student i.d.s without expiration dates which means she they don't satisfy the new voter requirements. >> if they are providing i.d.s without the needed expiration date, anything the universities can do about that? >> bucknell will provide
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students with expiration date stickers that comply with the new law, but when i found when i went there, many students don't want to go through the trouble of how to get the sticker, and they -- some of them are undecided whether or not they are even going to vote. it's just an added hassle and hurdle. >> thank you, kristin. stay tuned. i'm going to send you out on assignment again. when we come back, we're moving beyond pennsylvania, because the efforts to rig the vote are under way in multiple battleground states. stay with us. with the spark cash card from capital one,
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state john houston says he will not comply with the court's order, because it would only serve to confuse voters. the same judge who reinstated it, ordered houston to appear in court. he then backed down, issued a formal apology to the court, but that's not the end of the. ohio's attorney general, mike dewine, says he'll appeal the judge's ruling and try to eliminate early voting the weekend ahead of the election. folks this battle is apparently going to continue. ohio is doing this differently. this is not a voter i.d. issue. what's going on in ohio? >> ohio, just like florida, eliminated the weekend voting, early voting before the election, you can go and vote. we know in places like in ohio, 56% of the early votes that were cast in cuyahoga county where cleveland is, were
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african-american. in both ohio and florida, this is where you have the souls to the polls program. where african-americans went down to the polls after church and voted in unity. two states have decided we have to cut off early voting opportunities. but ohio decides to be recalcitrant. the secretary of state is like i'm not listening to that court. obama for america after filed for that case, and they didn't want to listen. so the judge pulled them up. >> i want to play a little history here. ohio is having the battle around early voting. pennsylvania with the i.d. i want to listen for a moment to -- to congressman john lewis, who spoke about what it took to get voting rights in this country, and it's such a powerful moment, from the dnc, talking with msnbc's own andrea mitchell, take a listen. >> i would never forget the three young men in mississippi
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african-americans, they died by trying to encourage other people to become registered, and it would be an affront for what they died for and all of the people that struggled for us to allow people to keep people today from registered and voting. >> all right. i want to set that against a new ad that the state of pennsylvania is playing, about getting your -- about getting your voter i.d. john lewis, saying it would be an affront to our history, but here is what pennsylvania is saying about the requirements to get a proper i.d. >> if you care about it this election. >> if you care about this election. >> if you want a voice. >> if you want to make a difference. >> if you want to vote, then show it. >> if you care about this country, it's time to show it. >> so if you care about the
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country, pay your poll tax. go get your voter i. sdrchlt. >> that's what it is. >> to be a good american, we should make voting easy, versus to be a good american, basically jump over the hurdled. is that what we're looking at here? the battle of the fundamental meaning? >> two things going on. our elections should be free, fair and accessible. but we have a really underlying discussion going on in this country about whether or not voting really is a right or a privilege. we have to have that conversation. most believe this is a right. fundamental to democracy. >> not only a right. but a right preservetive of all other rights. if you don't have a right to vote, then are you not part of the policy. people don't have to engage you, you are outside of the conversation. oftentimes bring up the first day of constitutional law, why is it that we hold such feelity
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to the conversation that was created by white, dead property owners? the status based exclusions was confronted and overcome. 4 of the 27 amendments expand the franchise. no poll tax, 26th amendment, ways of age. we have this gradually expanding electorate. i'm with john lewis, to say these hard-won victories bought with flood and immeasurable suffering would suddenly be turned back, even chipped away around the edges really a travcy. >> i wanted you to -- pennsylvania was saying show it. if you care about the country, show it you showed me something amazing during the break. >> i still have my congressional i.d. card and it doesn't have an expiration date. even though i'm no longer in
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congress. i could walk into a polling place and show i'm a member of the united states congress and that would be not enough to get me in those cases the right to vote. this is not just about the immediate legislation. we've always made it hard for people to vote. the system for where the most part, the polls closed at 7:00, you had to vote near your home, vote on a weekday, a work day. for a lot of people, you can't walk off from your office and say i'm going to go vote. and it made it very difficult for people who worked in factories, 20 miles from their home or whatever to participate. it's a bigger problem. >> if you are working shift work and particularly in an economy -- i will let you in on it and kenji, bring it to the table to talk me through the constitutional laws. when we come back, i want to know, this going to the supreme court? if so, what does it mean? stay with us. ♪ i'd do anything for you, dear ♪
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♪ think about there statistic reported by ari berman of "the nation" magazine. 8 of 11 states of the former confederacy have passed restrictive voting laws since the 2010 election. we talked about a federal court blocking the texas voter i.d. law, it won't affect the 2012 election, but it is likely the state will appeal. with all of the legal challenges surrounding voting rules in so many different states, it's hard to see how this issue doesn't eventually land before the john roberts supreme court. and when that's the topic, we turn to kenji. so, kenji, two things here, we're talking about pennsylvania and ohio. neither one of those states are your honor the preclearance
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rules of the voting rights act. texas is, south carolina is. explain to me the different courts in which these things will be challenged. >> absolutely. just to take a step back for viewers, we're talking about the voting rights act of 1965, and under the voting rights act still in effect, under section 5, certain states have such a negative history of reflecting the franchise on the basis of race, they have to engage in preclearance before they make change to the election law. texas and south carolina are two of them. and the reason that this isn't an issue in ohio or pennsylvania is that those two states are not preclearance states. the voting rights act doesn't control those states. >> free states during slavery, states that were part of the union and didn't have a jim crow history. >> this is a huge boon in states like texas or any other state without jurisdiction. it places the on us on the state rather than the disenfranchised individual. potentially disenfranchised
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individual to make their case. what's happening in pennsylvania and ohio, the court is saying, we'll weigh this, and basically we're going to look at the potential for voter fraud, and the burden on potentially disenfranchised voters. because of the negative history that this particular state has had, the thumb is heavily on the scale against the state and for the plaintiff. so wheat happening now, a lot of states are complaining, saying the voting rights act itself is unconstitutional. we don't need to wait for either texas or south carolina, because there are cases that will actually go up to the court this very upcoming term. the supreme court terms are like academic years, about 2012, 2013 term is a term which the supreme court could consider a challenge to section five of the voting rights act. >> there is some possibility that the voting rights act of 1965, which helps protect folks and make voting possible -- >> that preclearance could be
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struck down. not the voting rights act in its entirety. but that preclearance section. in a 2009 case, chief justice john roberts -- this came up before the court. the court took a buy and found a loophole, not to address squarely the constitutional question. but the constitutional question is does congress even have the power to enact section five of the voting rights act? that could be squarely presented before the court as early as this term. >> a court generally on the side of not thinking of the federal government. >> and because these states are saying we don't discriminate any longer, that was a long time ago. this is unconstitutional as applied to us now. so we'll see that happening, but we have ton the right wing has been setting this up for a long time to have section five of the voting rights act struck down. >> we are not done this with this issue, that's why we're calling it this week in voter suppression. every week is there is something
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new. kenji, thank you for joining us at the table. the rest will be back. up next, we are on the verge of the eve of 9/11, and i want to ask how we view the word terrorism. can be such a big thing in an old friend's life. we discovered that by blending enhanced botanical oils into our food, we can help brighten an old dog's mind so he's up to his old tricks. it's just one way purina one is making the world a better place... one pet at a time. discover vibrant maturity and more at
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign.
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looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. tuesday is september 11th. 11 years ago on that date, america entered a new age of terror. the attacks on new york and washington, d.c. made us feel uniquely vulnerable. this has directed our foreign policy for more than a decade. also influenced actions here at home, leading to unprecedented restrictions on civil liberties and leading many to presume who is threatening dangerous and a terrorist. that is based on our presumption of the definition of terror. what it is, who it is. it is simply more than violence, assassins and mass murderers are not necessarily terrorists. terrorists shoos their victims because of their identity and act with the goal of creating and paralyzing fear. that's why september 11, 2001
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was not the first act of terrorism in america. for example, for decades, the ku klux klan terrorized black community. in 1995, timothy p. mcveigh bombed the alfred b. mura building in oklahoma city. the horror of september 11th ttd too many to assume that all muslims or assumed muslims are potential threats. terrorism not only makes people afraid it makes them feel alone, terrorists win when we turn on each other. like when we protest a symbol of reconciliation, such as the so-called ground zero mosque. it opened last year. with a gallery of photographs featuring children in new york city. 11 years later, i want to ask, not about the foreign wars that 9/11 initiated, but whether a
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domestic peace is possible. joining me now to ponder these questions are interfaith youth choir founder and president , a author of empire and citizens and valerie core, a sikh american filmmaker who chronicled hatred against the sikh community for more than a decade. tell me about the data post 9/11, we developed a new notion of who is the other, who is the threat. do the data show that? >> absolutely. if you look at public opinion favorability scores toward miss limb americans after 9/11 and look at them a decade later, the average american is far more worried and suspicious of the average muslim than they were a decade ago right after 9/11. so in the last decade, things have gotten much worse for the
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muslim community. >> that sense of anxiety has actually grown over the past ten years? >> absolutely. coupled with an environment and an atmosphere that has complicitly and explicitly promoted islamophobia from public officials, the media, public opinion, islamophobia is far worse than it was on the eve of 9/11. >> i'm a little obsessed with your book. i've been spending a lot of time with it. sticky notes on it. but exactly this idea is part of what i felt resonating in it. you write about feeling like there was never a moment previously, before 9/11, where it was even really a question to imagine yourself as both muslim and american. but that particularly the so-called ground zero music beca mosque became a moment of recognizing how far those identity has pulled apart. >> during that time, my mom called me and said about my
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children, who are watching right now. she said you should change your kids' names because they sound too muslim. that's how afraid muslims were. that fear translated into something different for me. i spent a lot of time reading about the civil rights movement. what struck me so much about that, the people in this nation, african-americans who experienced the harshest side of american prejudice decided that they wanted to build america's promise and decided that america was not alive, but a broken promise and they gave their bodies and blood to save that. i think about this line from langston hughes. america never was america to be, but i swear this oath that america will be. this notion that all names are american names, that the bridge, the hyphen between muslim and american is a bridge, not a barrier. >> i heard ben jeles talk about this idea, a great grandfather
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born a slave and died a senator. one is a sort of expansive story about america. who in the world born into slavery would think, oh, i know. i'll run for office in that government. that sense of hope and possibility, and, yet, valerie, and you i have talked a lot about how post 9/11 violence against women. but miss directed violence that gets directed against the sikh community, when i heard about oak creek, i couldn't remember that it was happening more than ten years later. remind us what it was. >> a gunman cultured in the ways of hate, a product of hate groups in america, walked into a house of worship on a sunday morning and opened gunfire on august fifth. i spent most of the last month in oak creek.
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six were murdered. the pain and grief is profound. for the sikh community, the tragedy is not the great nest sikh american history, but a moment of violence shaken us in the last decade, even in the last 100 years in history, that calls us to action. what was unprecedented, we received unprecedented national attention, that flags were lowered, thousands of people attended vigils, 4,000 letters of support were collected and delivered. that kind of support emboldened young people in oak creek and across the country to face the sea of cameras and to tell the story of their faith. and to call for an end to hate, not just against sikh americans, but really all people still struggling to live as free and equal americans. >> it feels like part of the challenge that sikh americans face, what we're seeing our president facing. every time you do a muslim denialist. every time you say i'm not a muslim. you actually reinforce
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islamophobia. >> that's exactly right. the big problem for the muslim community from a spectator perspective, every time an event like wisconsin happens or obama is accused of being muslim, immediately you will see, well, they weren't really muslim. obama isn't muslim. almost by default saying if they were, all the better. >> that's right. >> that's right. if it were muslim it would be illegitima illegitimate. >> a muslim should not be president of the united states, and obama has gone to a great extent -- president obama has gone to a great extent in denying any roots that are actually muslim. >> we have much more when we come back, we'll talk about the 9/11 legacy that we need to distinction wish. extinguish. and of battery more emergency workers trust in their maglites: duracell. one reason: duralock power preserve.
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our guest, valerie core, got her start as a documentary filmmaker shortly after the september 11th attacks, the
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documentary entitled "divided we fall" when she talked about what life was like for muslims, sikhs and other marginalized citizens. >> the moment i saw it happen, i said sikhs are in for a hard time, be prepared. >> basically, i don't care where you're at. >> there's a lot of backlash. he said what do you expect? you expect people to come around and give you roses? >> so post 9/11, there is this backlash. >> it's troubling that it's been 11 years later, and we're still struggling to be seen as fully american in this country. oak creek, it's not just a sikh american tragedy, it's unique among american tragedies, could be the largest racially motivated mass shooting in american history. what i'm really proud, sikh americans are coming out, saying we need our government to do more to combat hate against all groups in america. we need to look at domestic terrorism. we need congress to hold
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congressional hearings that look at hate groups. and i am very proud to say we're working with auburn seminary to bring that kind of dialog to come pat hate. >> valerie brings up the u.s. congress. i was reading your text, sacred ground. more than anything else, it's interesting you talk about the civil rights movement. the kind of laing wage about beloved community. the way in which american exceptionalism could be understood. you tell this story about newt gingrich that i was riveted by. tell the viewers. >> previously, >> briefly, it was obviously martin luther king jr. that advances this idea. i'm here to do a talk on the interfaith influences of king. i think interfaith cooperation is such at the heart of the american story, and we're looking for a new generation to rise up and write the next chapter. interestingly, newt gingrich was part of that story not so long
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ago. my friend, suhail khan, needed a place to pray in the capitol. juma prayers on friday afternoon. the speaker of the house was newt gingrich and provided him that place to play. we need more meshes to stand up be the 1996, 1 997 version of that. that's what america is about. >> what i loved about the story. okay, as speaker of the house, newt gingrich is prepared in that moment to provide space for the friday prayers. that's not the newt gingrich we see today, and not so much gingrich has changed, but the incentive structure has changed for an american politician. >> is is now social desirable or socially acceptable to be anti-muslim in the united states. this islamophobia bandwagon who
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is going to join it, who will join it more fiercely. that's the ironny of all of this. >> there's an antishari'a law plank in the republican party platform. >> anti sharia campaigns in 30 states in the united states. shari'a laws, which never emerged. if you were to ask me, somebody who studies the muslim world and the arab world what is the content of these laws, they really don't exist. >> so let me ask you one last piece on this. the democratic party, and president obama's re-election campaign, very much making the death of osama bin laden a central foreign policy achievement. americans would agree with, i also -- also always have just a little bit of a like -- is there any way which that continues to make us think that muslims are, in fact, our enemy? >> let's make the death of hate in america our most important achievement as a nation. the most american thing you can
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do is stand up for the dignity of somebody else, and i'm so proud that muslim americans are praying and standing with sikh americans. i'm so proud that we're a nation that recognizes although there are people we're preaching we are better apart or better divided. we know we are better together and we have to build that country. >> what gives me hope is a rising generation that comes of age, but stepping out to the light. the kids in oak creek asked me to give you this gift. an orange bracelet that says august 5, 2012 and thank you for not forgetting them this 9/11 anniversary. >> thank you. i will not cry on television. okay. i thank all of you for being here. thank you my guests. valerie will stick around for the next hour. when we come back, the solution to our divided government. what do we do when something that's hard to paint, really wants to be painted? we break out new behr ultra with stain-blocker from the home depot... ...the best selling paint and primer in one that now eliminates stains.
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. it's time for the voters to pick sides and decide whether they will be wearing an elephant or donkey pin. whichever candidate voters ultimately choose has to make their way through the increasingly partisan waters of washington, d.c. the likelihood of one party winning the white house, and congress is slim. in in the current paern world, it's impossible to have a monopoly on compromise. how can a president govern across party lines? that's the word again, party. the two-party system has long dominated the political landscape. and not only making nearly impossible for a president to get anything done. it's doing nothing for the image of congress. a recent gallup poll shows that just 1-10 approve of the job
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that congress is doing. 1-10. as for what congress is getting done, it isn't much. only 61 bills out of 3,914 introduced have become law. 61. folks to say the system is broken is an understatement. how do we fix it so the politicians we elect are more productive than partisan? the new book "the parties vs. the people" how to turn republicans and democrats to americans says that they function no mother than private clubs that are more interested in retakening power than serving the people. but we are not without hope. we can get our democracy back on track by doing a number of things. first, open primaries so multiple candidates can be considered, not just the one selected by the parties. the power of redistricting out of the hands of legislators and put it into the hands of nonpartisan panels.
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as far as congress is concerned, a nonpartisan congressional leadership should be established which can establish nonpartisan processes to help get more done. is this a little political science fantasy, or can these measures work or are we too far gone? let's ask the author himself. i'm joined by niki edwards who serves as vice president of the aspen institute, director of the consortium project. did i get it about right? >> that's the argument pretty well. what's amazing, every two years, voters go to the polls to take back their country. no matter who we elect, we want to take back the country, and the problem is it's not who we elect, the parties get narrowed in the primaries. how in the world does somebody like akin in missouri get to be a major party nominee? he has a closed primary party
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that washes out everybody else and those people can't be on the ballot, what happened on the ballot. >> and she only got 30,000 votes in her primary, but that was enough to keep mike castle off the ballot and that happens in state after state. so what we've done is allowed the parties to rig the system. and say, you know, i don't know you very well. i know you want choice in phones, choice in shoes, we tell you, when you go to the polls, you get a or b, that's it. >> i've really appreciated this book, because it takes what i think has become an american media, too much partisanship, too much polarization and explains what it really is and also how it's not just like there's bad people, right? if we get a nice guy in, it will all be solved, but rather than, there are incentives and structures, partisanship which is not a conflict over
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principal, but a combat between private organizations, each seeking political advantage, but this is what is creating a system which stirs not confidence, but rage. so explain to me, what -- when you say these are private -- basically private businesses rather than sort of large democratic with a little "d" systems. >> what they are is groups that around looking at the best for the country, but what's best for the next election. if you are serving in congress and you want to be member of the ways and means committee, you will be told by your party, here are our positions, it doesn't matter your experience, you haven't seen the bills yet, you can be on the committee if you promise in advance you're going to stick with the party line. and so -- what you have to do is prove your loyalty to the unwavering support of your party. and then whether you -- the
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incentive system works, it's not the people of your state, louisiana, this case, who are going to decide. it's the people who show up in the primary, a small number of people, and most states have sore loser laws. so if you run in the primary, very popular in the state, but can't win your primary, then you can't run in the fall. >> they call them sore loser laws? >> yeah. >> that's great. >> the american approval ratings of congress, i found this, particularly given our last conversation about post 9/11, i found this really interesting. right now at a minimum, you see how low we are, but that height, that little spike of an 84% approval rating, occurs around the beginning of 2002, which says to me that is the post 9/11 spike, when american congress is getting a lot done, but that the things that they are getting done are things i wouldn't necessarily be supportive of, restrictions of civil liberties, so when i saw that, i thought,
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hmm, i wonder if there's a tradeoff. maybe it's better not to have everybody on the same bandwagon and getting things done? >> i don't think we should have that. i am deliberately not a centrist. because most of the great movements, the civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women's movement, are in the center, what we have to do is to have the ability to talk to each other. there are 310 million of us, we're diverse, we have all kinds of racial, political, religious experiences and what we need to do at some point is act as a single country by finding -- you may have one set of a view, you have to say, okay, where we can we find a layer of common ground so we can act together, as americans, not as republicans or democrats. issue after issue, budget or stimulus or supreme court nominations, whatever it, all democrats on one side, all republicans on the other side, and they are acting like private
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clubs. >> and the things that don't necessarily or inherently have to be partisan. we have to keep talking about this. we have to talk about what are the solutions. i appreciate you explaining what are the fundamental problems. when we come back, we have some news this morning about the party's potentially coming closer to together than we would have ever thought. my name is adam frucci and i'm the editor of
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i love new technology, so when i heard that american express and twitter were teaming up, i was pretty interested. turns out you just sync your american express card securely to your twitter account, tweet specific hashtags, and you'll get offers on things you love. this totally changes the way i think about membership. saving money on the things you want. to me, that's the membership effect. nice boots!
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we are awaiting president obama at a campaign rally on day two of his swing through the states. in an interview aired on nbc's
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"meet the press" romney made news when he alluded to the fac president's health care plan. >> we'll replace obama care. and even when i was governor of massachusetts, it dealt with preexisting conditions. >> i'm not getting rid of all of health care reform. there are a number of things that i like that, i would put in place. one to make sure those with preexisting conditions get coverage. two, ensure the marketplace ensures for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like. i also want individuals to be able to buy insurance -- health insurance on their own as opposed to only being able to get it, on a tax advantage base from their company. >> how is that for a bit of compromise at the table? the parties versus the people. judith browne-dianis of the
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advancement project. dorian warren and valerie core, director of groundswell at auburn seminary. what we heard there is, you know, the presidential candidate, mitt romney saying, there are aspects of obama care that i would keep. there is part of me that wants to cheer that, and say, okay, you passed something very similar in massachusetts is this an example of sort of a bipartisan recognition? or is the virginery fact that h against the thing that he was originally for an indication of how bad partisanship has become? >> i think it's actually two things. one, an attempt to appeal to moderate and swing voters. second being it's an attempt to take away issues from obama as we get closer to debates. he is very vulnerable, that obama care was romney care first. how can he say he wants to repeal something that he's already implemented as on governor of massachusetts. it's both of those. actually a smart of strategy. take away the issue that we're
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most vulnerable on and appeal to swing voters. >> in our desire to do that, to talk about whether it's a smart strategy, we missed the expansion of health care to americans, and the extension of access to people who don't have it now is good, full stock. and we may have disagreements about free market versus, you know, individual mandate and all of that, but it is good for more people to have greater access to quality health care. >> and he's acknowledging that, finally. he didn't acknowledge it at his own convention, now he's at the independent convention, convention after convention, how do i get to sway she's people i didn't have an opportunity to talk to. i had to talk one way when i was with my people. now i get to go to another convention and start changing my tune. >> now he's talking to the country and saying here is what i think as opposed to here is what i have to say in order to
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please this small subset that will determine whether i can move forward. >> valerie, want to jump in on this one. >> people can see through means to ends politics and traveli ii through the country, i know people in any generation, are deeply disillusioned with partisanship in american and the institutions we've inherited. i remember, i traveled to guantanamo in 2009 to report on the military commissions, i was there for a hearing of a young canadian citizen imprisoned at 15. looking at him. he was 23. guards sitting next to him, 18, 19. i was just a few years older. it occurred to me, the cappives, the prisoners, were all young. we all came of age in the shadow of 9/11 and inherited dysfunctional institutions like guantanamo and asked to preserve them. i think what we're really called to do, whether it's the economy or criminal justice system, is to try to make sure that our
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generation doesn't become did he respondent by the weight of what we've inherited. this is why the politicians of hope, recovering that, is deeply resonant. >> i like the idea of inheriting broken institutions. this blew me away, that the congressional management foundation gives out to new members of congress, how to set up your office, where are the bathrooms. >> i needed that information. >> the guide for 112th congress, our current congress, included a special section titled "increased partisanship and lack of civility." so for the first time, they actually said, hey, welcome to a broken institution. you are going to now be engaging in an institution where we no longer behave in a way that's civil. is that like the inheritance of that brokenness? >> i think if that's the case, we inherited a broken institution since the founding. this is the norm in american
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politics, the thing that tom jefferson said about john adams would make us plush today, and i don't even blush. we were in the golden age of less partisanship, but that's the norm in politics, civil war, post reconstructist congresses were much less divided than recent congresses. i want to put some perspective here on that. >> that's what we will do. when we come back, we'll take off the rose colored glasses, i want to ask you was there really a time when things were so much better? with the spark miles card from capital one,
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day. >> former president bill clinton at the dnc on wednesday talking about cooperation and how it's better than conflict. and he spoke about how he personally reached across the i'll when he was governor of arkansas to work with republicans. >> when i was a governor i worked with president reagan with his first round of welfare reform and with george h.w. bush on national education goals. >> clinton also worked with republicans when he got to the oval office. one made mention earlier this year on how he got things done together. >> as speaker i came back. working with president bill clinton, on a very republican like plan. those are real numbers that people can verify out in the open. >> okay, so it's true. newt gingrich and bill clinton worked together, but i got to
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say, i don't quite remember it as like some big kumbaya happiness of bipartisan behavior. there was the whole shutting down of government thing and the small matter of impeaching the president. politics hard, but does it have to be difficult? what makes it tough is when certain politicians would rather stand in the way of progress for people, rather than trying to help it along. if president obama able to win a second term in november, maybe it will send a message to obstructionists that their behavior was not rewarded. but maybe it won't. if mitt romney wins it will be interesting to see if he's able to work across the aisle or if democrats will learn from this obstructionist win and block his path. back with me now are my guests. mickey that felt to me like golden age of partisanship, you know, roast rose colored hogwash. was there a time when it was
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better? >> never a golden age as dorian says. medicare, social security, both were passed by majorities of democrats and republicans, the most controversial supreme court nominees, douglas, frankfurter, brandeis, confirmed overwhelmingly, and so recently now, imagine sonja soto mayor or elena kagan, it was party versus party. people have strong feelings then just like they do now. they found a way to come together to govern as a snags. there has been a time when you did on all kinds of budget issues, you would come together and say we'll get something done as a currenountry. >> when we talk about more are bipartisanship is that because of blue dog democrats, a group of southern segregationists that kept voting with republicans, is
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that why it looked like bipartisanship? >> that's right. i think racial issues create internal division which allowed southern democrats to vote with republicans which made it look like more bipartisanship. and, in fact, there was, we saw those cross-party coalitions. >> but the cross party coalitions didn't mean there was this ideological give and take, and moving people forward. >> the example i just gave, it was republicans, bran dice and frankfurter and douglas or medicare social security. it was republicans fighting democrats. there was more you diversity. and not as focused as on how they got through the narrow partisan. >> a little bit of closed door might be available. we tend to think of the harsh light of media as improving things, but, valerie, you've talked about how we've sanctioned a discourse of
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hatefulness and if that discourse of hatefulness ineffects our campaigning and politics and at every point, every vote is being tweeted out and reported on the media, is it actually better to have a little bit of closed door politicking in order for people to make compromises? >> the hateful rhetoric that dominated discourse makes it far more difficult to come to the table. i group in a republican household, when i came home, my progressive politicians in college, we disagreed with each other, but we loved and respected one another. okay to have a difference in policy. in the aftermath of 9/11, my father left the party, because he saw how his party gave into expansive federal powers, but noted how hateful rhetoric, that was on the fringes before, took center stage. fast toward to 2012, we see politicians like newt gingrich, like michele bachmann, like peter king, calling for
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investigations into muslim american community, and when mitt romney is asked how would you respond, how do you respond to michele bachmann's demand for investigations, he simply said this is not his campaign. this is not a way to lead, when you think of president bush, how he came out, say what you will about president bush's policies, but he did come out after 9/11 and repeated that we're not at war with muslims, this has consequences, republican party 89% white. lost people like my father who has seen it gone astray. >> in your father's distaste with the republican party become thick willingness to expand power. part of what i hear is if you're a small government, party, that ideology shouldn't restrict who wants to get married if are you a small government, have you a small government position. talk to me a little bit about
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how we see the role of a president in helping to bring about bipartisanship? you talk about the congress, you say there is a role for the president. >> a chapter in there about the presidency one way the reagan presidency was successful and the carter presidency was not, was the degree to which they had really good congressional outreach. the president is not the head of government. he's the head of one of three branches and the other branch, congress, is the one that has most of the power. the president to be successful, has to be able to not just summon and lecture members of congress, he has to say let's sit down together. when the president and john boehner able to just get together quietly among themselves, they could have done so. >> that's interesting. we could imagine bainor and president obama coming to an agreement if there weren't all of the tea party noise and the norquist pledge, that sort of
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thing. >> the other thing to consider is money in politics, the amount to which the system has been flooded with money. money in, people out. and that has created this great divide, because, you know, if you are getting money from americans for prosperity, then you better line up with that agenda, line up with the alec agenda and keep every -- all your ducks in a row so the party can keep getting money so they can keep in power. >> what happens come january when the dust settles and power in washington is still divided is anything going to get done? we ask that question, next. [ female announcer ] we were flattered when regenerist beat a $100 cream. flabbergasted when we creamed a $500 cream. for about $30 regenerist micro-sculpting cream hydrates better than over 20 of america's most expensive luxury creams. fantastic. phenomenal. regenerist. i don't have to use gas. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. drive around town all the time doing errands
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we've been talking about the partisanship that has become our current political reality. this morning, we saw two of our national leaders speak to just that topic. in an interview with scott pelley that aired this morning on cbs' "face the nation" president obama was asked about
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his willingness to compromise with republicans in congress on a grand bargain on the budget. >> there are some programs that are worthy, but we can't afford right now, and i'm willing to do more on that front. i'm -- you know, more than happy to work with the republicans, and when i said in reducing our deficits, we can make sure that we cut $2.50 for every dollar in increased revenue. >> that's the dollar they turned down, mr. president. >> that's part what that election is about. >> in response to president obama's statement on compromise. paul ryan had this to say. >> i had been more than happy to work with him. but he hasn't been acting like that what we've learned in this presidency. he says one thing and does another. he gave us four budgets, norah. each with trillion dollar deficits none of which proposed to balance the budget. >> as we all know, division
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doesn't usually breed compromise. so for elected leaders are so far divided, does it leave any room to solve today's big problems? all right, panel, that's the question. is there some way. let's assume good will. which may be a big assumption. let let's start by assuming good will. what are the incentives by which we might be able to get solutions to our big problems? >> part of it is the question you raised before. and that is, you you've got to have some place where it's not totally transparent. you have to have some place where people can sit down together behind closed doors and talk to each other. but with -- with the tea party watching and occupy watching and everybody watching every move to make sure that you are not going to cave, you know, it becomes really hard to do that. >> it's tough, on the one hand, i'm with you, right. as a parent, you know sometimes mommy and daddy or mommy and
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mommy or daddy and daddy, have to get together behind closed doors and give a unified front to the kids. we get that. on the other hand, the very nature of democracy is that we need to know what our politicians are doing to the actually getting things done concerned are that all has to be open, all has to be transparent. >> i have to say, there are moments when i do not want the president to compromise. i thought that i was voting in campaigning hard for a revolutionary president, and the president has been nothing but the king of compromise. and most devastating to me personally on the issue of civil liberties. guantanamo remains open. drone strikes, racial profiling, the use of torture in some instances this kind of record on civil liberties makes it had has
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to work hard to feel hope for any kind of a second term. >> this is a challenge in holding together president obama's coalition, a left has had a great deal of anxiety. interesting to hear me say a revolutionary president. because he been my state senator and won -- >> yeah, he's always been a very solid, progressive, moderate, sort of moves the ball. true of his legislative record, but the idea of a revolutionary president is hard to imagine. to be in the structure is to be in the structure. >> a recent book out by your former colleague, marty gellens at princeton shows the most affluent americans almost always get their way in congress, over the bottom 2/3 of income distribution. it highlights a more fundamental problem that a certain group of people, the most elite people in this country, almost always get their way, over and against everybody else.
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>> the other fix here is our civic duty to engage in democracy doesn't end on election day. we get the conversation totally gets hijacked by these extreme voices, like the tea party, right? and in the midst of that, there are regular americans that need to continue to be engaged after the election, but they are not. so those voices of the every day people who could sway politicians just doesn't get heard. >> i still have hope. it was our failure. i stopped, we stopped on election day, we expected to invest our hope in him. what he said at the convention, i have hope in you, and he's calling for to us have hope in him too. he did come out and repeal don't ask, don't tell. kind of came out for marriage equality and created a pathway for citizenship. there has been enough that to me that he's done revolutionary to hope for a second term. >> mickey's point, one he doesn't want to government.
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the head of one branch of equal branches, so at each point, there is -- the founder is purposefully coming out of king george did not vest all of the power in one person. and part of what we lose in a presidential election cycle. we imagine mitt romney free to do whatever, or president obama free to do whatever. simply not true. >> an irony of the discussion of parties and that is in 1950, the american political science association, our professional association, issued a report calling for more responsible two-party system. and one of their raejss wplatfo more choice. that's the irony of the conversation. >> maybe not so much iron fik you know how bad political sinetists are at real politics. we're really good understanding what happened ten year after it happened, not so much about the perspective.
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>> the american political science association had me write an article about the difference between politics and political science, and pretty big difference. but i do have hope. kind of the point you made. the willingness to compromise and come together, doesn't mean you compromise on everything. i was just as upset. very critical of the bush administration, and one of the reasons that i was, because what he did, no concept that there was a constitution that he to follow. on all the areas you just mentioned, barack obama just as bad. a requirement to stand up, speak out and not feel i'm locked in to being true to my team. speak out for something of value. >> and that's an important point. one if we look, for example, at the history of martin luther king and the civil rights movement, when he was asked to wait and to compromise, he writes why we can't wait. why we can't compromise.
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the policy and politics of foreign affairs, the hardest part of actually governing, a pretty tough point of governing. let's talk about that when we get back. there are patients who will question, why does my mouth feel dryer than i remember it to be? there are more people taking more medication, so we see people suffering from dry mouth more so. we may see more cavities, bad breath, oral irritation. a dry mouth sufferer doesn't have to suffer. i would recommend biotene. the enzymes in biotene products help supplement enzymes that are naturally in saliva. biotene helps moisten those areas that have become dry. those that are suffering can certainly benefit from biotene.
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so you don't have to get down on your hands and knees to scrub away tough, dried-on stains. hey, do you guys think i'm "momtacular" or "momtrocious"? ♪ [ female announcer ] swiffer. now with the scrubbing power of mr. clean magic eraser. take a listen to this portion of president obama's speech on thursday night. >> now we have a choice. my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost america so dearly. after all, you don't call russia our number one enemy, not al qaeda, russia, unless you are
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still stuck in a cold war mind warp. >> that's a commander in chief muscle flex, taking a shot at mitt romney's intro to foreign affairs. what we're talking about is something we can't ignore. governor romney, could, however, ignore the war in afghanistan. the gop's standard bearers to mention u.s. troops in afghanistan during his acceptance speech has been the source of lots of questions from many sources, including fox news. this is how he responded on friday. >> do you regret opening up this line of attack? now a recurring attack, by leaving out that issue in the speech? >> i regret you repeating it day in, day out. when you give a speech, you don't go through a laundry list, you talk about the things you think are important, and i described in my speech by
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commitment to a strong military, unlike the president's decision to cut our military, and i didn't use the word troops, i used the word military. i think they refer to the same thing. >> so that's what you might call damage control. president obama left some key areas of foreign policy out of his address on thursday night. he did obviously address a & name check al qaeda, but nothing said of america's most complicated foreign relationship with pakistan or the ongoing humanitarian crisis in syria or continuing controversy at this table of guantanamo bay, the reason that some of these things were left unsaved when it comes to governing, it can be really, really hard. the one thing i agree with from what mitt romney is saying, it's not a laundry list, you choose what you think is important. the president did not in his conversations about -- part of what he's doing, saying i'm a good commander in chief. didn't talk about arab spring, the potential collapse of the euro and the way that might be impacting our economy.
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he didn't talk about the emeasure against of africa as a possible trading partner. didn't talk about pacific rim influence except maybe sort of a china -- you know, scary and bad sort of thing and didn't talk very much -- certainly said climate change is not a joke. the rising of the oceans. the international question of how will we address climate change, is it just because there are no votes to be gotten on those issues? >> this is not something to be considered on a laundry list it shows how out of touch mitt romney is with the american people. and we continue to see classmates come home in coffins. i have a friend teaching children surface arts in afghanistan. it's not just u.s. soldiers, a population in afghanistan too. that kind of failure to me indicates once again a candidate who is willing to figure out how to score political points, avoid the delicate sensitive issues, rather than then speak truth to what's really happening.
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>> llt although, do you win political points by not -- it's an odd moment. typically republicans are like the nationalists. >> that's interesting about the last four to six years, that the republican party has lost its historic advantage on foreign affairs, and the roles have really reversed, so now the democratic party and president obama is seen as stronger on foreign affairs than republican party, i think to your first question, it's going to require us reading the party platforms to get any sense of what positions are on foreign policy and foreign affairs, we didn't get a sense of that from the conventions, from the speeches, and most americans aren't paying attention to that anyway. for better or worse. i would like to us be convertant at guantanamo bay, most americans -- the conventional wisdom, most americans concerned about the economy. >> foreign affairs a place where i'm perhaps most afraid of deep partisanship.
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i do not want partisan concerns, re-election concerns making decisions with what we're going to do in pakistan. that terrifies me more than anything else. is there reason to think that our congress is so currently partisan divided that this will determine foreign policy? >> when you are stopping whatever the president does, you know, then it does. you start looking at things through if we support the president on this initiative, it's going to hurt us or help him in the next election. but there are so many issues, that i don't think either party really is addressing very well. hillary clinton just had real tough time in china, you mentioned pakistan which is a serious problem. chinese are expanding their influence in africa and lat inch america, just the way the soviets used to do. you can't really elect a president of the united states without looking seriously at what's this person going to do in foreign policy?
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and in obama's case, i'm sorry, but killing osama bin laden is not a foreign policy thing. okay, you you got that done. >> it is an accomplishment. >> it is an accomplishment, but not sufficient. too many other problems. >> not about foreign policy, more about us than about foreign policy. >> exactly. the osama bin laden one is interesting. a legitimate accomplishment, one in part about sort of harkening back to a bush era that said that getting and capturing and killing osama bin laden was the key to closing the chapter of 9/11, on the one hand, he has every right to take credit for that, and the desire to take that credit away from him, i find disturbing. that now done, the issue of pakistan, the issue of nuclear iran, how all of that plays out, does feel more urgent even than sort of a justice seeking around 9/11. >> let me say, foreign affairs is not the only place where we
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need strong bipartisanship. we need it looking at threats in our own country assist well. dhs released a report in 2009 that tracked the alarming rise of white supreme cyst groups, most notably anti government groups. the dhs has dropped it. the government did nothing. here we have now the fbi reporting that in 2010, hate crimes against muslims jumped by 50%, at a time when anti immigrant, anti muslim rhetoric flooded. the rise of hate in america ought not to be an aftermath. oak creeks calls us to have a conversation about hate in america. our candidates, we should watch how they campaign and what they promise to protect this country. >> how we campaign is in part how we'll govern, and the issue we talked about voter suppression, we ought to be able to agree on the health of our demonth mockracy, we want more
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people in our system. >> and our voices need to be heard. unfortunately, to get to your point about the partisan piece in in congress, issues like that don't come to the table any longer, you can't get a hearing. it's shut down. no discussion. oh, we can do a briefing, but we can't do a hearing, because the republicans control who gets to have a hearing what it will be about. >> we are calling upon the senate judiciary committee to hold a congressional hearing on the rise of hate in america. it's groups across the board. we hope this happens before the election. >> the most important -- >> i'm sorry. i know. i want more. i need another hour and a half. and we will have more in just a moment. first, time for a preview of weekends with alex witt. >> i just need a couple of hours before you get to your extra hour and a half, okay? i get it. we'll talk about this. meet mitt romney. wow. let's give that time to her, right? mitt romney on "meet the press," his comments on health care
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reform might surprise you. is he changing his mind on so-called obama care? new polls out today. is the president seeing a bigger convention bounce than expected? and the matchbooks that helped america safer as we approach the 11-year anniversary of 9/11? plus, i'll talk with the writer who did the first and only post-rnc interview with actor clint eastwood. did he really mean all that he said? we'll get to the bottom of that coming up. >> we were talking about empty chairs earlier on the show. >> we'll get a little more from that for you. up next, my footnote on suffering hope and faith. with the spark miles card from capital one,
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for today's footnote, literally a footnote as president biden might say. a common wisdom has already emerged about president obama's convention speech on thursday. the wisdom is that it was a workhorse, a policy talk, good, solid, necessary.
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but also less ambitious and inspirational than we've come to expect. primed by the years i spent as a seminary student i heard president obama's speech as an -- even if you're not from a christian tradition you may have heard of romans 8. if you're part of the tradition you'll recognize it immediately. roman is the apostle paul's definitive letter. it is more than anything else a letter of encouragement. chapter 8 is the most encouraging of all. its optimism is built on three key insights first, remember that the problems of the moment are transitory, not permanent. the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. second, getting through the tough times requires patience.
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perseverance. and hope. paul rheminds us that hope is nt about what you see at this moment, but what you believe to be possible. because hope that is seen is no hope at all. who hopes for what they already have? finally, no matter how bad things are in the present moment, holding tight to faith and unflagging hope ensures that we are more than conquerers in the long run. on thursday, president obama followed a similar argument. he acknowledged the continuing problems we face as a nation. but we encouraged americans to believe in our history. in one another. and in the powerful but difficult work of self-government. rather than running from hope, he doubled down on it. >> america, i never said this journey would be easy, and i won't promise that now. yes, our path is harder. but it leads to a better place. yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together. we don't turn back. we leave no one behind.
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we pull each other up. we draw strength from our victories and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that destined horizon knowing that providence is within us and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on earth! >> president obama was not demanding or assuming that voters believe that the bible is an inspired, sacred text. he was asking voters to draw encouragement from its lessons. hope is not vain or silly or misguided. it's powerful. it keeps our eyes fixed on a brighter horizon. and once we can see the hopeful future, we have to do the work of walking forward together to achieve it. that is our show for today. thank you to mickey edwards. thanks to you at home for watching. i'll see you again next saturday 10:00 a.m. eastern. next week i'll have an exclusive
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interview with the author, maya angelou. coming up, "weekends with alex witt." i describe myself as a mother, a writer and a performer. i'm also a survivor of ovarian and uterine cancers. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick...and then i got better.
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